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Reasoning in Combinations of Theories


Ihlemann,  Carsten
Automation of Logic, MPI for Informatics, Max Planck Society;
International Max Planck Research School, MPI for Informatics, Max Planck Society;

Sofronie-Stokkermans,  Viorica
Automation of Logic, MPI for Informatics, Max Planck Society;

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Ihlemann, C. (2010). Reasoning in Combinations of Theories. PhD Thesis, Universität des Saarlandes, Saarbrücken. Retrieved from

Verification problems are often expressed in a language which mixes several theories. A natural question to ask is whether one can use decision procedures for individual theories to construct a decision procedure for the union theory. In the cases where this is possible one has a powerful method at hand to handle complex theories effectively. The setup considered in this thesis is that of one base theory which is extended by one or more theories. The question is if and when a given ground satisfiability problem in the extended setting can be effectively reduced to an equi-satisfiable problem over the base theory. A case where this reductive approach is always possible is that of so-called \emph{local theory extensions.} The theory of local extensions is developed and some applications concerning monotone functions are given. Then the theory of local theory extensions is generalized in order to deal with data structures that exhibit local behavior. It will be shown that a suitable fragment of both the theory of arrays and the theory of pointers is local in this broader sense. % Finally, the case of more than one theory extension is discussed. In particular, a \emph{modularity} result is given that under certain circumstances the locality of each of the extensions lifts to locality of the entire extension. The reductive approach outlined above has become particularly relevant in recent years due to the rise of powerful solvers for background theories common in verification tasks. These so-called SMT-solvers effectively handle theories such as real linear or integer arithmetic. As part of this thesis, a program called \emph{\mbox{H-PILoT}} was implemented which carries out reductive reasoning for local theory extensions. H-PILoT found applications in mathematics, multiple-valued logics, data-structures and reasoning in complex systems.